The full title of this film is Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm. It’s a documentary about the history of the vibrator and female sexuality. If this subject turns you, um, intrigues you, read on, if it makes you uncomfortable, move on to another review.
Violence has always run rampant in American media. You can find it on almost any channel and there’s always violent over the top action films and horror movies in the theaters. But when it comes to sexuality there is a limit. There’s only so much you can show on TV and if you go too far in film you get an NC-17. Decapitation and disemboweling are okay, but orgasms are forbidden.
Passion & Power traces the history of the vibrator from its Victorian-era beginnings as a medical remedy for “hysteria” to today. It’s an interesting look at female sexuality and how men have repressed it for decades. It’s a very interesting documentary that will most certainly give most people something to think about, both men and women.
But aside from the fascination subject, there are many flaws with this film. The interviewees have a lot of interesting things to say and are fascinating people but the filmmakers don’t seem to think so. While else would they present each interview at drastic angles in what seems to be an attempt to make things more interesting?
If you’re curious about female sexuality this is certainly a movie worth watching despite it’s production flaws. There are certainly some squares out there that will find this film offensive, but this film isnt for them. It’s people out there willing to open their minds to something they might not know about.
The film is presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen and Stereo sound. The biggest problem with this film is the look. And there’s nothing special about the sound either.
Interview Extras: (22 min.) More interview footage that wasn’t used in the film.
More Antique Vibrators: (3 min.) We are shown a few other antique vibrators that aren’t talked about in the film.
Behind The Scenes: (1 min.) A few clips of the actors preparing for the staged scenes.
This is an interesting documentary that isn’t put together that well. The subject matter is still good and at an hour and ten minutes before credits it’s not going to take up too much of your time either.
First Run Features presents Passion & Power. Directed by Emiko Omori & Wendy Slick. Running time: 74 minutes. Not Rated but contains very explicit adult subject matter. Released on DVD: November 9, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.